Life lessons

On drive this afternoon, we decided that we wanted to follow up on our resident pride of lions that are known as the southern pride. We made our way to the area where they had last been seen and on our way to that area, we had a lot of wonderful sightings of plains game. We also bumped into a massive herd of buffalo in a dam, trying to cool off after a very hot summer’s day. Buffalo often go into the water in order to cool down and to wallow. Mud wallowing allows them to clean themselves from parasites and old skin that gets trapped inside the mud when it dries up.

After a great buffalo sighting we moved off, still with the ‘mission’ of finding the pride of thirteen lions. To our surprise, we found one of the adult females on her own – she was hunting. She was stalking a herd of zebra but unfortunately they had spotted her too early on and they moved away. The she locked her eyes on two warthogs. After a successful stalk, she made the kill, or so we thought. As we were watching, we noticed that the warthog was still alive, that she was not killing it. She started calling – she must have been calling her cubs. And then suddenly, the cubs came out of the bushes.

Big cats have a way of teaching their young how to handle live prey by catching something and not killing it immediately. Rather, they allow the cubs to play and learn to deal with their own prey. By doing this the cubs learn very important lessons in order to make them successful hunters.

It was amazing to be able to witness the life lessons given to these cubs.

FW – Kapama River Lodge
20/02/2013

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